Former firefighter 'a danger to family,' says judge

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A federal judge says a former Charleston firefighter accused in a contract killing plot against his wife is a danger to his family and should stay police custody.

Clinton Jones has been living away from his wife and kids until his case goes to court. But Tuesday's hearing took away his limited freedom.

U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams told the court that 41-year-old Jones violated a family court order by having contact with his family. Jones had been out of jail on bond for about three and half months, but not anymore.

At a detention hearing at the Hollings Judicial Center, the U.S. Attorney told the court that Jones -- a former Charleston firefighter -- used phone calls and text messages to communicate with his wife and kids.

A victim's advocate told the judge Jones even wrote notes to his wife on spousal support checks.

Defense attorney Leon Stavrinakis explained that one of the texts was an accident, and that he only reached out to a church pastor to get marriage counseling.

But the defendant's wife, Michelle Jones, begged the judge to keep her husband behind bars because she and their three kids are scared of him.

In the end, Judge Bristow Marchant said because of Michelle Jones' statements and finding that the defendant didn't fully comply with his bond, he ordered Clinton Jones back behind bars.

Stavrinakis said he's going to continue to work to get Clinton Jones out of jail until his next scheduled court appearance. He says that his client is not a flight risk and is not a danger to society.